Public Lecture: “POST-SECULARISM AND NEO-LIBERALISM: TOWARDS THE I-SATION OF SOCIETY?”, Prof. Adam Possamai

Public Lecture by Prof. Adam Possamai: “POST-SECULARISM AND NEO-LIBERALISM: TOWARDS THE I-SATION OF SOCIETY?”

When: 4 PM – 20.11.14

Where: Conference Room – NATSEM Building 24, University Drive,
University of Canberra, Bruce (ACT)

BELIEF AND SOCIETY SEMINAR SERIES

Abstract:

By post-secularism, Habermas refers to the process of the de-privatization of religion, and to the current dialogue about managing the presence of religious groups within secular frameworks in the public sphere. This dialogue is currently affected by what I call the i-sation of society. In Jameson’s classic work, the end of the 20th century was claimed to face the third phase of capitalism, that of late capitalism, the world space of multinational capital. Around the same time, Ritzer wrote about the McDonaldisation of Society which refers to the permeability of (what Weber made reference to as) rational bureaucracy into our everyday life. This paper argues that we are now in a fourth stage of capitalism, the cyber space of ‘deterritorialised’ capitalism, and that with the help of new i-technologies, this penetration of rational bureaucracy has filtered further from everyday life to our personal biographies. Linking these two theories, this paper presents the argument that we are going through a process of i-sation of society (1) in which capitalism is not only dominating our outer life (e.g. global capitalism) but our inner life as well through its expansion on the Internet facilitated by various i-technological applications and (2) in which the McDonaldisation process has now been normalised and religion has been standardised. This process greatly affects the communicative action that religions were supposed to follow in our post-secular times. I will conclude that they have, paradoxically, been colonised or McDonaldised.

 

Adam Possamai is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Religion and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney. He is the former President of the RC22 on the Sociology of Religion from the International Sociological Association. His latest books are Religious Change and Indigenous Peoples: the Making of Religious Identities (with H. Onnudottir and B. Turner, Ashgate, 2013) and The Handbook of Hyper-Real Religions (as editor, Brill, 2012).